Angkor Wat Devata at Wat Athvea

Angkor Wat Devata at Wat Athvea
Angkor Wat’s builder, King Suryavarman II built Athvea temple in the 12th century.
Angkor Wat Devata at Wat Athvea
The Buddhist wat next to the temple features scenes from the Reamker.

Siem Reap, Cambodia – About 6 km. south of Siem Reap visitors will be surprised to find Angkor Wat devata at Wat Athvea, an active Buddhist temple  that, like many others, is built next to an ancient Hindu temple. It’s on the west side of the road to the Tonle Sap and it’s well worth a short detour to see this peaceful and relatively un-touristed Khmer monument. Angkor Wat Devata at Wat Athvea

The temple’s design and distinctive style of the devata (sacred female images) inside indicate that it was built in the 12th century, during the reign of King Suryavarman II (circa 1,115-1,150 AD), who also built Angkor Wat.

The temple is unusual because it lacks all but the most basic decorative carvings…with the exception of some exceptional Angkor Wat style devata. Originally at least six women were planned to preside over the west interior chamber of the main structure but only four were completed and of those only three remain in good condition.

Upon entering from the west, devata #1 stands south of the door in fine condition. To the left is #2, however she has deteriorated to the point that only her headless torso with parts of both arms and a section of her sampot (a traditional Khmer wrap worn around the waist) remain.

Angkor Wat Devata at Wat Athvea
Directly ahead two more completed devata stand at the far left and far right (#3 and 6) of the facing opening to the central sanctuary. There are also two uncompleted devata outlines etched onto this wall (#4 and 5). As a final note, this chamber does feature inscriptions on the columns, but these may have been added at a later date.
Angkor Wat Devata at Wat Athvea
All three remaining devata are exquisitely adorned with lotus crowns, heavy necklaces and belts, armbands, finger rings and rich sampots (Khmer style waist wrap) made with floral patterned fabric.
Angkor Wat Devata at Wat Athvea
Their attributes are comparable to the most sacred women found at the highest level of Angkor Wat, implying that this temple was founded for an important reason.
Angkor Wat Devata at Wat Athvea
The Buddhist wat next door is quite charming, with hand carved gilded wood window panels featuring scenes from the Reamker. There are also a number of colorful and well maintained burial stupas on the wat grounds.

Angkor Wat Devata at Wat AthveaWat Athvea Photo Album

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